Myths about feline spaying and neutering

Green eyed cat

Both feline spaying and neutering are surgical operations that are intended to avoid unwanted litters, since there are many animals that end up poorly living in the streets, and many others that end up slaughtered because they have not been able to find a home for them.

In recent decades, since we have these furry living with us in flats, apartments or houses, there have been some myths about spaying and neutering. But are they true? The truth is that, as we are going to see, not all.

But first, it is important that we know what neutering is and what is sterilization, as they are often confused.

What is castration?

Tricolor cat

This is an operation in which the cat your sex glands are removed. In the case of females, the uteri and ovaries can be removed, which is known as an ovariohysterectomy, or just the ovaries, in which case we would speak of an oophorectomy. On the other hand, males have their testicles removed.

The recovery time will depend on each animal. In general, females usually take from 3 to 7 days, while the males from the second day are already running like nothing.

And sterilization?

When we take a cat to be sterilized, what they are going to do is, if it is female, tie the fallopian tubes; and if it is male they will cut the seminiferous ducts. Thus, being a less invasive operation, the recovery time is faster: from 2 to 5 days, but you should know that the animal will continue to be in heat, and that therefore, the behavior that both males and females may have derived from it will not disappear.

Myths about spaying and neutering

Cat looking at the camera

Now that we know what the main differences are between one intervention and another, it is time to find out what are the myths that have emerged about these issues and, most importantly, if they are true or not.

1.- A female must have a litter once in her life

So far, there is no medical evidence to support this argument. You have to think that cats are NOT human, and that they do not have that need that we can have to be parents. They they are guided by their instinct: and their instinct will only "force" them to reproduce for the sole purpose of perpetuating the species. Nothing more.

To think that you have to let a cat be a mother at least once so that she is happy and knows what she is, in addition to so that she can finish her physical development, it's a mistake. There are many female cats and cats who have never had heat and / or who have not had kittens, and they have grown up without any problem.

Yes, If they are operated before 5 months of age, it may happen that they remain small. This is something that happened to one of the cats in the feline colony that I have been caring for for years. Some volunteers took her to be castrated when she was 4 months old - too early 🙁 - and she has become too young.

2.- It is enough to castrate / spay the females to reduce unwanted litters

It's false. Bringing offspring to the world, in the case of mammals, is a matter of two. Females can be neutered / spayed, but we cannot be 100% sure that there is not a single cat that is not yet operated on, because there is always someone who changes neighborhood, or who has been abandoned to their fate.

Another point that I wanted to comment on and that is often thought is that a neutered cat is "less male", which it is not true. It will be a cat like any other, but it will not have that need to go after females nor will it get into trouble.

3.- After the operation they gain weight and change their character

Well, it depends. But let's go in parts: a cat can get fat, whether or not it is operated on, if it does little exercise and / or if it is given more food than it needs. On the other hand, their character is usually changed, but not all. What does happen is that they stop -in the case that they have been neutered- to have heat and, therefore, the cats do not meow insistently at night, and the cats calm down. But otherwise, the desire to play and to give affection do not change; in some cases they even increase.

4.- The risk of cat contracting diseases is reduced

This is true, especially if they are castrated. In females, uterine infections and breast cancer are avoided, which are two life-threatening diseases in cats; and in males the risk of prostatitis, testicular, prostate and anal cancer is reduced.

Why should the cat be neutered or spayed?

Cat watching

In addition to everything we have discussed, I recommend that you take your friend to operate for the simple reason that it is a act of responsibility to him. You have to think that cats can start having offspring after 6 months, and they will go into heat every 6 months. Each time, they can have from 3 to 12 young. Do you know how many of them are going to have a home? All?

At most one or two. It's true, many of us love kittens, but not all of us like adult cats. And those kittens once the chances grow that they end up living in animal shelters or on the streets there are many.

Also, I'll tell you something: if you let your furry go outside, your cat will always stay on the same street, and your cat may go two streets away at most. If they are not operated, they would go much further; which means that he would find more cats that he could end up fighting with. Thus, while a hairy gelding is always close to you, one that is whole one day can get so far away that it might not come back.

Be careful, I am not saying that a cat that is operated on can stop coming to your call, but the truth is that the risk of that happening, in my experience, is very low. Whole cats will go off looking for a mate every 6 months, and anything can happen to them along the way.

Lying cat

So, I hope I have solved some doubts on this subject for you. If you have more, leave us your comment 🙂.

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  1.   Mercè said

    Neutering or spaying? I tell my experience with my cats:

    First I want to emphasize something important that I have seen in another post, where it is recommended to castrate cats at the age of 6 to 8 months. I took 3 males a little over 7 months to the vet and they had already gotten their 3 sisters pregnant, so better safe than having to "place" 16 precious (it must be said) and cute kittens.

    By the way, these 3 were sterilized, not castrated, that is, they made the small cut on their testicles. They had a quick recovery, perhaps too fast because we left them in the morning at the office and around 17:XNUMX p.m. we went to pick them up. They told us that they would be asleep / groggy until the night, not to come out of their carriers because they could hurt themselves while still being anesthetized, etc.

    It was getting home and they were desperate to get out of the carrier. They were somewhat clumsy at first, but after a while they were walking, eating, drinking, etc.

    Two had the cuttings well sewn but the third had a slightly open cut, but hey we were watching it not get infected, in a few days it was closed and all well.

    Behavior of the 3 males after sterilization:

    Two of the males are perfect, I would say that as before, of course they do not meow, they do not mark, well they did not do it before, and they hardly pay attention to the females. Great.

    The other, the third, has grown fat like a panda, doing and eating exactly the same as the others because they are together. Although the sterilization has gone well because it no longer marks the house, which was an annoyance, the truth is, you found your urine mark, or whatever they put, in various places, and it is the same what we did, or put in the places (4 or 5) he had chosen. We could only wash them, which by the way I bought a special spray, something carillo, that eliminated odors, but not stains, I tried several products and in the end I found the solution in the closest soap, the «Lux» type bar of hand soap. It is like bleach but without fading and also perfumes.

    And I warn you, it is completely useless to scold, punish or any other method that is usually used, they do not find out anything or the "job" they have done. Once the cute kitten "marked" the books at my daughter's school, obviously I got angry with him and locked him in the gallery, I saw him through the glass door, I observed his sadness and at the same time desperation to get out of there ( It is a gallery that overlooks the street so it was not so bad) seeing him so scared / confused was worse than cleaning the books, which was the time he was there, so if it happens to you, better sterilize and a little patience until that you do not.

    The size is curious that it is due to sterilization, in the litter that I have, that is, brothers, from one to another they take twice as much, one stayed small, the white and black one that I talk about in other posts, is the most funny of all or at least the most ... of all, curious, smart, playful, affectionate, madrasah although she has not had babies, it has been spectacular how she has taken care of the 16 babies of the other 3 mothers, she washed them, carried them from here to there if she considered that they were not well cared for, not to mention how she has treated mothers during childbirth, she comforted them on her lap, licking their faces, and after childbirth she has left them (as tired as she can. ), clean for its "parts" and is currently babysitting, playing with kittens, well she is so attentive that I would say that she never sleeps, she is always there looking at me whatever time it is.

    Also 2 of the 16 kittens are becoming "dwarfs", I particularly find them funnier that way, they look like babies and in the long run, they will eat less, soil less soil, etc. That they stay small I see it more an advantage than a disadvantage.

    And it is true that when they are in heat they march and a thousand things can happen to them, all bad.

  2.   Manuel said

    I have two 5-month-old cats. a female and a male ... I just castrated the male .. all good .. except that his sister .. no longer wants to approach him and even she is a bit aggressive with him .. before the castration they were great «friends». I must say that on the day of the castration my cat spent all day in the clinic ... What can I do to make them friends again?

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hello Manuel.
      It is normal that during the first days (even during the first two weeks) after the castration, the cats that were friends before behave in a strange way, since the smell that the neutered cat gives off is different from the one it had before.
      To help them become friends again, you can use Feliway in a diffuser - placing it in the room where the recently operated is. This way, your sister will feel much calmer.
      Cheer up.